Fear has spread across the Britain after nine people contracted the virus in the UK. News of the deadly virus has hit the homeland has erupted a huge panic, as 1,500 people were tested for coronavirus in just one day. Now, it seems there could be a high amount of fatalities after British scientist professor Neil Ferguson gave his own verdict on the figures.
Speaking of the deadly coronavirus, professor Neil Ferguson, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, fears the UK could have a grim fate.
“This is the one I’m scared of,” he admitted.
Speaking to Channel 4 News in Coronavirus: Is Britain Ready, the scientist have his verdict on the worrying figures surrounding the disease.
The scientist admitted that predictions of 400,000 UK deaths are “not absurd” and shed some worrying light on the UK’s situation compared to that in Wuhan not so long ago.
Discussing the idea that 400,000 people in Britain could die after contracting COVID-19, he didn’t rule out the shock figure.
However, he did emphasise the fact that putting such figures out there aren’t helpful in tackling the problem.
He said: “Potentially. I would emphasize that at the moment putting numbers like 400,000 on it isn’t necessarily helpful because we have so little information, but it’s not an absurd number.”
The eye-opening conversation saw the Professor note that Britain is “probably where Wuhan was at the beginning of December” in terms of numbers of infected.
When asked about whether a suggested infection rate of 60% was realistic, he replied: “Potentially. Given we know a lot about how these viruses are spread we have lots of data from past epidemics.
“Given how transmissible this virus appears to be and the fact that at least all adults can be infected – we have much less data in children – then 60% is a reasonable figure for the epidemic size. Within the first 12 months or so.
“What we don’t know at the moment is of everybody infected, what proportion might die and what are the risk groups? Our best estimates at the moment is that maybe 1% of people who get infected might die.”
However, he insisted he was not predicting 400,000 deaths, but was warning that the figure “is possible”.
The professor clarified his words were given on the basis that he’d “prefer to be accused of overreacting than under reacting”.
The news comes as 1,500 Brits were tested for coronavirus in one day.
Fears of the deadly coronavirus have surged after officials carried out coronavirus testing for 1,500 people in just one day.
However, none of those tested positive for the disease.
Now, despite the NHS claiming they are well prepared for an outbreak, other health officials also fear the worst is yet to come.
Dr Robin Thompson, an expert in mathematical epidemiology at Oxford University said that London transport create a “network” for rapid spreading of the disease.
He said: “In general, if an initial case is in a densely populated area, then the risk of sustained person-to-person transmission following is higher.”
The expert fears the disease could be spread more rapidly through London transport.
“This is exacerbated by the fact that London is a transport hub, and the Underground could provide a network to spread the virus quickly.”
More than 4,500 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the UK to date.
However, just nine patients have been diagnosed with the disease, which is thought to have first broken out in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Earlier this month Public Health England announced thousands of patients across the UK would be tested for coronavirus every day.
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